The GIDEON Principle
I get tired of being tired! There is so much work to be done but when the time comes to step out into the rugged plains of God’s calling, tired or not, I better be ready to stand up and be counted on.
God trims the fat, prunes the branches and cuts off the dead weight. He is not ever beyond cleaning house, though it’s not always to be free of the unworthy or impure of heart. Sometimes God trims to prove to His adversary boasting superior numbers that He, the Lord, isn’t confined to numbers or ability. God sometimes just likes to show off His superior power by proving He will win with whatever He has at His disposal.
God never worries so neither should we. What we should concern ourselves with is this: will we be fortunate enough to be called upon once God starts making the cuts or will we be asked to sit this one out? I don’t think being left behind is always a bad thing but when we’re called upon we should be situated to stand up. If I hesitate, by the time I’ve decided to screw up my courage and go God will have already moved on down the line.
The Gideon principle is an effective weeding out process God almost always uses in selecting those He chooses to use for His great purpose and tasks that He has devised or undertaken. There is no room for fear, doubt or any distractions. God uses our fear to weed out over half the candidates. But the next cut, though seemingly random, is certainly specific by His own design.
Today I may not be who He needs to accomplish His Will where tomorrow I may be all He needs. Apart from my fear, there is nothing else I can control in being chosen by God or not. Yet fear never completely excludes us from the service of God – it’s what we fear and when we fear it. Gideon never feared the Lord wouldn’t do what He told Gideon that He would do – I think what Gideon feared was himself, his own ability to be used by God – to be affective for God. That’s pretty common, I think. And God seems so patient with us in our reasonable fears. Just be sure that once He answers those fears and concerns we may have, accept His answers and then let yourself be counted on for being willing and prepared to step into the battlefield for the Lord.
Peace to you, today! Sean Gutteridge
1 Then Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) and all the people who were with him rose early and encamped beside the spring of Harod. And the camp of Midian was north of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley.
2 The LORD said to Gideon, “The people with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel boast over me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’
3 Now therefore proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, ‘Whoever is fearful and trembling, let him return home and hurry away from Mount Gilead.'” Then 22,000 of the people returned, and 10,000 remained.
4 And the LORD said to Gideon, “The people are still too many. Take them down to the water, and I will test them for you there, and anyone of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall go with you,’ shall go with you, and anyone of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ shall not go.”
5 So he brought the people down to the water. And the LORD said to Gideon, “Every one who laps the water with his tongue, as a dog laps, you shall set by himself. Likewise, every one who kneels down to drink.”
6 And the number of those who lapped, putting their hands to their mouths, was 300 men, but all the rest of the people knelt down to drink water.
7 And the LORD said to Gideon, “With the 300 men who lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hand, and let all the others go every man to his home.”
8 So the people took provisions in their hands, and their trumpets. And he sent all the rest of Israel every man to his tent, but retained the 300 men. And the camp of Midian was below him in the valley.
9 That same night the LORD said to him, “Arise, go down against the camp, for I have given it into your hand.
10 But if you are afraid to go down, go down to the camp with Purah your servant.
11 And you shall hear what they say, and afterward your hands shall be strengthened to go down against the camp.” Then he went down with Purah his servant to the outposts of the armed men who were in the camp.
12 And the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the people of the East lay along the valley like locusts in abundance, and their camels were without number, as the sand that is on the seashore in abundance.
13 When Gideon came, behold, a man was telling a dream to his comrade. And he said, “Behold, I dreamed a dream, and behold, a cake of barley bread tumbled into the camp of Midian and came to the tent and struck it so that it fell and turned it upside down, so that the tent lay flat.”
14 And his comrade answered, “This is no other than the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel; God has given into his hand Midian and all the camp.”
15 As soon as Gideon heard the telling of the dream and its interpretation, he worshiped. And he returned to the camp of Israel and said, “Arise, for the LORD has given the host of Midian into your hand.”
16 And he divided the 300 men into three companies and put trumpets into the hands of all of them and empty jars, with torches inside the jars.
17 And he said to them, “Look at me, and do likewise. When I come to the outskirts of the camp, do as I do.
18 When I blow the trumpet, I and all who are with me, then blow the trumpets also on every side of all the camp and shout, ‘For the LORD and for Gideon.”